Patients registered at all practices across South West Lincolnshire are now able to access pre-booked appointments for routine GP services in the evenings and weekends.
From early September in Sleaford and with effect from 26 September in Grantham, this new service is part of an extended access service commissioned by South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and covers the hours between 6.30pm-8pm weekdays and 9am-12pm Saturdays and Sundays, including bank holidays and across Easter, Christmas and New Year.
“These appointments are for pre-bookable, non-urgent consultations with GPs and nurses for things like chronic illness, asthma checks, medicines reviews and routine GP appointments,” explains Dr Dave Baker, GP and Chair, South West Lincolnshire CCG. “Patients will be able to access their appointment at either Sleaford Medical Group, Sleaford, or St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, but should contact their own practice to book one of these appointments.”
Managed by a federation of all the GP practices in Sleaford and Grantham, the new service is part of a wider plan to strengthen South West Lincolnshire CCG’s out of hospital strategy, integrate care within the community and improve collaborative working between local GP practices.
“We are pleased to be able to work with our local federation of GP practices to offer this service to patients in South West Lincolnshire, it will be of particular use to those unable to get an appointment during the daytime due to other commitments, such as work and school,” adds Dr Baker. “We hope the new service will reduce pressure on other local health services that people tend to use if they cannot see their family GP, such as A&E, urgent care and Out of Hours.
“However, It is important to remember these are pre-bookable and not for urgent, acute ‘on the day’ issues,” adds Dr Baker. “And whilst the service will operate and be accessed from Sleaford Medical Group and St Peter’s Hill, it is worth remembering you will still book via the practice you are registered with and that your appointment may be with a health professional from any of the local GP practices.”
The pre-bookable appointments represent additional capacity across the local GP practices and are part of a national commitment to making local GP services more accessible, so that patients can get the care they need when they want it.